Company secretary

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Liz is a group company secretary for an engineering consultancy and design firm based in London It is her responsibility to ensure that the company and its directors operate within the law and in line with the best practice.

What duties are involved in your role as a company secretary job?

I am responsible for ensuring that the company always complies with the requirements of the Companies Act and other legislation. I am also involved with mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, statutory and Financial Services Authority compliance, insurance, share dealing, share options, trusts, data protection and many other issues. I am responsible for taking the minutes at board meetings.

Do you have a typical day?

Not really. Apart from the general managerial duties associated with running a department, each day brings different challenges. It is a fast-paced environment where you have to be ready for change and have the flexibility to respond.

You have to be able to deal with people at every level and be confident to handle any situation relating to business operations and all the ways in making the company run more effectively. It is also important to keep up-to-date with political and current affairs. One way to do this is to read the daily newspapers and professional journals regularly.

What was your route into this job?

After graduation, I joined a company as company secretary which had just been bought by the managers of its large parent company. During my work there I took my examinations to attain chartered status. After some years working for companies in London, I moved to my current job.

What training have you had?

My degree in business administration provided excellent grounding for my route to becoming a company secretary. However, to do my present job you need to qualify as a chartered company secretary through the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA). I became an Associate of the Institute (ACIS) after three years of studying while at work, and a few years later became a Fellow (FCIS). Once qualified, it is essential to maintain your development and I undertake regular continuing professional development (CPD) training.

What hours do you work?

Officially you work a normal 36 hour week, but you cannot do this job with a 'nine-to-five' mentality. I work pretty long hours as is necessary to deal with whatever is going on at the time.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the responsibility, challenge and variety. You are involved at the very top of the decision-making process and are included in the confidence of the board of directors. No two days are the same and there is always something new to learn, no matter how long you have been in the job.

What are the skills and qualities needed for this job?

Diplomacy, attention to detail, confidence, patience and the ability to stand your ground.

How to become a Company secretary

  • A Levels
  • Degree in Business Administration.
  • Graduate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
  • Associate and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries.

How do i become a Company secretary tips

  • Talk to company secretaries in different types of companies – every role is different.
  • Seek qualification as a chartered secretary – this is a gateway to more advanced jobs.

Salary of a Company secretary

  • How much do Company Secretaries earn? Company Secretaries Salaries depend entirely upon a combination of experience, qualifications and the level of the particular position.
  • The average earnings for a non-chartered company secretary of small companies may earn from £15,000 and £25,000 – rising to £50,000 with further qualifications – and up to £100,000 when working for a large national or international concern.

What do i you need to get a job as a Company secretary?

  • Managing directors in small companies usually have some formal qualifications in the field of the business. For instance, engineers, lawyers and accountants often set up their own businesses and become managing directors.
  • The Institute of Directors offers chartered status to directors seeking an on-going professional qualification. This involves a structured training programme and examination.

Company secretary related jobs

  • Business adviser
  • Local Government committee administrator
  • Private practice accountant
  • Public sector accountant
  • Solicitor
  • Chartered secretaries work as company secretaries and in other senior positions in companies, charities, local government, educational institutions and trade bodies.
  • Although registered companies must have a named company secretary there is no statutory requirement as to qualifications. Consequently it is possible to become a secretary of a small company with some accountancy experience and an awareness of the legal requirements. Larger organisations employ highlyqualified company secretaries who may be accountants, lawyers or members of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA). Entry to the ICSA Foundation programme is open access. You may qualify for exemptions if you have already gained some qualifications, such as a related degree or related professional qualification.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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